What happens when leaders stay in their comfort zone?

“The ultimate measure of man is not where he stands in moments of comfort and convenience, but where he stands at times of challenge and controversy.”

Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

When leaders back away from challenging situations, their team loses confidence in them. In other words, when leaders fail to exhibit bravery, their organizations fail to achieve higher levels of success.

Best-selling author Brené Brown studied organizations where courageous leadership was absent and found three common issues:

  • Leaders avoided difficult conversations
  • Leaders managed problems instead of the behaviors that caused the problems
  • In organizations that had “fear of failure” cultures, team members were afraid of being wrong

My goal is not just to make you aware of these three common facts, but to encourage you to take action with what you have learned. So, I challenge to you reflect on the following questions.

On a scale of 1-5, with “1” being the lowest and “5” being the best, how would you rate yourself on these traits of a courageous leader?

  • I am comfortable tackling difficult conversations.
  • I manage behaviors that cause problems.
  • I embrace an environment that fosters open and honest feedback.

If you are feeling especially brave, ask two or three people to assess you or your organization for these courageous leadership traits.

If you score less than a “5” on any of these traits, ask yourself what is preventing you from achieving a “5.” Make a list of ideas for improvement and put them into ACTION!

If you need extra help, Brené Brown’s book Braving the Wilderness offers some tips for becoming a more confident and effective leader.

It’s important to realize that our own behaviors and leadership dictate the degree to which our organization succeeds. Let’s all strive to become the courageous leaders that our organizations, our families, and our communities need.

Sherri Miller, Founder and CEO
Center For Extraordinary Success

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